If You Still Believe

Do you still remember all the time that has gone by…?

Welcome to Valkyrie, a shrine dedicated to the character Rose from the video game The Legend of Dragoon, created as part of BAB’s “The Road to Hell is Paved With Good Intentions” Challenge.

Don’t worry, I am carrying out your will.
We took this world back together, I won’t let them ruin it.
Rose, Disc 3: Mountain of Mortal Dragon

Rose is, and has been ever since I first played the game in 2011, my favourite video game character, bar none. The fact that Rose managed to leave such a deep impression on me even though I experienced the game eleven years after its release — a tremendously long time as far as video games are concerned — and without nostalgia goggles is testament to its fascinating world, boasting a depth nigh uncontested in its era, and its captivating story. And what a story it is! In tune with its wistful theme song, If You Still Believe, it is a game steeped in legend and myth, drenched in melancholia, and carried by a yearning so powerful, it haunts me to this day. After all this time, it is a story that still fills me with respect and awe, its sentiments moving me to tears more than once as I revamped this shrine in 2022, seven years after launch.

Make no mistake, The Legend of Dragoon is heavily flawed, to the point I don’t ever want to play it again for lack of any elements in its gameplay that could be considered worthwhile. There is, however, something noteworthy about such a strong script that, when it comes down to it, not even a clunky translation or downright awful voice acting could ruin it. There’s something commendable about a JRPG that reminds you of the value of a good narrative at its core — and the core of The Legend of Dragoon is Rose.

It is Rose who stands at the center of the narrative (though it may not seem so at first), who suffers loss, makes sacrifices, endures inconceivable loneliness and bears the harshest of fates, and it is Rose who struggles and perseveres, time and time again. It is in Rose that the full depth and weight of the game’s world and its long history unfold, it is in her that the relationship between life and death most clearly manifests, and it is in Rose that past and present, the game’s strongest themes, meet and clash.

Just as The Legend of Dragoon is the chronicle of one lone woman’s journey as she continues to fight a battle that ought to have been decided long ago, this shrine is a tribute to a character who, after all these years, remains remarkable in many respects.

Note that there are spoilers all across the site, though I believe I’ve marked them all. More specifically:

  • 1.–2. are safe to read as an introduction to the game.
  • 3.–6. contain major spoilers; do not click on the navigation links if you wish to avoid them.
  • 7.–8. are safe to browse, with spoilers clearly marked.

For an informative and spoiler-free overview of the site’s structure, refer to the site map.

The site’s content is based on the English version of the game. All screencaps can be enlarged with a click and browsed by keyboard; some contain flavour text as an additional layer of information.

The site is intended to be viewed at a minimum resolution of 1280x720.

I hope you enjoy retracing the steps of this particular journey through Valkyrie as much as I do whenever I revisit this shrine in lieu of the game. If there are any thoughts you’d like to share, I’d be delighted about any feedback in my guestbook. Thanks a lot for your visit!

August 2022

listed at: Emotion, In the Fade last update: November 2022